Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is reportedly backing away from potentially mounting a 2024 presidential campaign as the field of contenders for the Republican Party’s nomination begins to take shape.
The New York Times reported that Youngkin has informed his advisers and donors that his sole focus is helping Republicans win in the state’s legislative elections in November—months after the party’s primary debates kickoff in August.
“Listen, I didn’t write a book, and I’m not in Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina,” Youngkin said this past week when asked about a potential timeline for 2024. “I am wholly focused on the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I’m looking forward to these elections.’’
Youngkin would fall significantly behind his rivals if he waited till after the November before announcing his candidacy, in which the Times noted that “very few presidential hopefuls waited past summer and none went on to win their party nomination.”
The report noted that Youngkin has yet to crack 1% in the polls and that backing away from the presidential chatter is “a bow to political reality.”
The report noted that Youngkin’s top two political advisers that helped him win in the blue state of Virginia — Jeff Roe and Matt Wolking — have both joined Never Back Down, the super PAC encouraging Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to run for president.
Some other notable Republicans have already taken their names out of the 2024 presidential race, including Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
The top two contenders so far in the Republican Party’s primary are former President Donald Trump and DeSantis, who has not yet announced whether he is running for president in 2024.
DeSantis was in New Hampshire late last week where he broke the New Hampshire Republican Party’s all-time fundraising record after his event quickly sold out.
“Record-breaking fundraiser for the state party,” NHGOP Chairman Chris Ager told NH Journal Friday morning. “Largest fundraiser in the history of the NHGOP, raising more than a quarter of a million dollars. Ticket sales were halted earlier this week after we exceeded planned capacity.”
Florida’s Voice reported that Ager announced at the event that $382,000 had been raised.